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What’s Your Primary Question?

Posted Nov 27 2012 10:29am

About this time of year you’re likely to see lots of magazine articles and blog posts about how to resist the temptations of holiday food.

Skip the dinner roll and choose veggies and dip…


Know your trigger foods…


Bring your own food to gatherings…


Slow down and savor.

These tips are certainly worth your consideration, but I’d like to suggest something a little more profound (you knew I’d go there, right?).

Why not consider having a primary question instead? I very much believe in this concept: what you focus on grows…what you see depends mainly on what you look for. And a good way to know what you’re focusing on is to understand what your primary question is.

You might think that your primary question this time of year should be, “How can I control myself and not gain any weight and maybe even lose some this holiday season?”

According to Anthony Robbins, a primary question is the one we keep asking ourselves (often times unconsciously) and which determines what we consistently notice and experience in life. It becomes the filter through which we experience life and thus shapes our experience of various situations. And it tends to be most noticeable in stressful situations (hello “holidays”).

And so it’s important to note how you FEEL when you ask yourself your primary question.

For a good deal of my life my primary question was (and sometimes still is, but I am getting really good at catching myself): “Will I ever be good enough?” 

When I live my life with that primary question in mind, I tend to shrink and hide, to compare myself to others, to live from a place of desperation and fear. In other words, I don’t shine. I don’t live up to my potential. My creativity is stifled. I feel less than.

And you know what happens when I feel like that?

I want to stuff my face. And when I stuff my face, I feel like crap and maybe gain weight. And I ask myself, “Will I ever be good enough?”

So I recently decided to find myself a new primary question.

“How can I rock my life today?”

When I ask that question, I think about only that which I need to do now (in all aspects of my life, not just health-related) and I don’t get overwhelmed by the enormity of the big picture. And it just plain old feels good to think about rocking my life…to think that I have a life that rocks!

And you can be sure that I wrote my new primary question out on several index cards and they are strategically placed through out the house.

What’s your primary question? What do you want it to be?

Hint: “How” and “what” questions begin with the end in mind. Notice how you feel when you ask yourself questions that begin with “how” and “what.” Now notice how you feel when you ask questions that can only be answered with a “yes” or “no” or questions that are justification-prone (“why” questions).

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